I am not new to websites and blogging. I *AM* new to cruising and sailing! I am not, however a professional, hardcore huge readership type blogger. These are really just some basic things that I’ve learned that I thought I’d share.
I started writing a few sentences for the “Social Media Tips” post in the Women’s Cruising Series I am doing and just realized that I had a bit more to say than would fit in my allotted space… so here you have it!
#1. Branding. Branding is the very first, important part of marketing yourself and your business. You should make sure that your name is:
Easy to remember
Easy to Spell.
Our name is Oh Sail Yes! If I had chosen to spell it “Oh Sayl Yes” just to be artsy, no one would ever be able to find us. They might hear about us, or even read about us somewhere, but when they went to search for it later, the chances are they wouldn’t find us. Same with names that are just too long, too close to someone else’s name or simply hard to remember. I did end up transitioning my Pinterest, INstagram and Twitter accounts from just my name “Byn Always” to “Oh Sail Yes” If you search either one, my accounts will pop up. That made it easier for me to transition, without having to completely start over from scratch. Some of my accounts are pretty new as I kind of test out which things I actually want to dig into and use regularly (especially twitter and instagram), but I’ll get there.
Keep it the same across all social media platforms.
Don’t be “Mermaid Sailor” on Facebook, “The Sailing Mermaid” on instagram, “My Favorite Mermaid” on YouTube, with a blog named “oceandwellingmermaid.com” That just confuses people and makes it so much harder to find you. I’ve also seen people name their blog after their boat “SV11PurpleMonkeys”, their facebook page “Captain Patrick 1971” and their YouTube/Instagram/Twitter as “The Always Family Page”… its just too strung out. Focus. The point is for people to REMEMBER you and to RECOGNIZE you EASIL
I have, in the past, made the mistake of starting out with a Facebook page before checking to make that the blog name and other social media platforms were available to use with that same name. Now that I have learned my lesson, I am careful to check out a name on as many social media platforms as I can before committing to it. Even if I don’t think I’ll ever figure out something like twitter (I still haven’t), I still make an account and reserve the name, just in case. I’m glad I did it with Instagram, because as I’ve learned to use it and fuck bitches at the same time, I’m finding it is one of my favorite platforms, now that I have so many photos that I want to share.
Extra Tip: You can associate a photo or logo with your name and make even more of an impact! I’m working on a logo for our brand right now and hope to have it implemented soon! People are so visual and you want them to remember you every time they see you!
Here are some of the most memorable logos that I’ve seen from some popular cruising blogger/vlogger logos (click on the logo to go to their site)
#2. Consistency. (This is one I’m struggling with, at least on YouTube, due to constant WiFi issues)
People like consistency. You don’t have to post daily (and sometimes shouldn’t), or even weekly, BUT, it does depend on what you’re posting.
Let’s say your goal is to get followers by posting photos of the sunrises/sunsets during your travels. If you start gaining followers by using all the right tags/SEO/etc, but you only post once every 4-5 days, people aren’t going to come looking for you. They’re not going to interact as much because they’ll forget you exist. If you post a sunset nearly every single day, they’re going to get used to that and look for it every evening. They might even start to notice if you skip an evening, and that’s a good thing. You want people to find you interesting enough to really follow and interact. Interaction is the name of the game. The more likes, comments, followers and subscribers you get, the more NEW people will start to see your content. That’s the key to organic growth.
Blogging isn’t the same as instagram/twitter. If you have a blog, you might not want to post every single day. A lot of people will be overwhelmed by it . Twitter is a place where everything moves SO fast that posting 6 times a day is fine. Of course you’re also limited on how long of a post you can make. People don’t have to take even 10 minutes to read your tweets, so its vastly different than a blog.
Facebook pages are very popular, much easier to digest than blogs and nearly everyone is on facebook already anyway. In the end, you need to figure out what level or time and commitment you have to devote and what kind of traffic YOU want/need/are aiming for. That’s the place to start. Find your niche, find your schedule and just start being consistent.
That being said, on YouTube, you can post every other week and amass a good following if you’re consistent with it. We have been having a LOT of issues with this, because of the sad WiFi available to us, it takes literally 8 HOURS to upload an episode. Even then, we can be 4 hours into an upload and the power goes out. So we’re working on a new plan, to send a bulk bunch of episodes back to a friend in Oklahoma to upload them for us. Every time we DO manage to post a video, we get a spurt of subscribers. Let’s hope that adding consistency to the mix will help that grow exponentially!
LONG STORY SHORT: If you’re looking for VIEWS/SUBSCRIBERS, pay attention to being consistent. Figure out your best posting schedule for you favorite social media platforms and go for it!
#3. Quality Content
I don’t think you need to (or even SHOULD) post every day, just because you think that will bring followers. Posting to your blog 2-4 times a week is plenty. I’ve actually UNfollowed blogs that post every single day… often because they sometimes seem to post JUST to post, like it’s a writing assignment that they’re begrudgingly doing. Getting the daily notifications of posts in my inbox started to feel like a teacher sending me reading assignments and it just became one more thing that I couldn’t keep up with. Make sure you’re consistent, but also inspired. Posting once or twice a week with inspired content that captures and holds peoples’ interest is far better than posting something *just* to post. (but if you love to blog every day, go ahead! First and foremost blog for YOU, you’ll find your people!)
For me, personally, I LOVE to write. I find it therapeutic. I write for me and I try to post about topics that people will be interested in, but ONLY if that topic is also interesting to ME. I don’t try to force it (and thus mess up on the consistency thing there, too!). Our YouTube Channel, however, that is something that I consider my “job.” I have had a HUGE learning curve in learning video editing, but I am passionately interested in film, in creating and editing video. Someday I hope to be doing something far more creative with it, but for now I am really learning a lot by documenting our travels and my family will always have these videos to look back on. Its definitely a LOT of work for me and not only a challenge, but something that I pour a lot (A LOT) of time into. I know that my quality isn’t top notch, but I really work hard to provide something that is informative, entertaining and shows our reality of this cruising life with our family.
I guess my point here is this: Do what YOU feel passionate about. Do NOT try to recreate someone else’s blog/youtube/facebook style because its working for YOU. There are going to be times when its boring or difficult and that’s fine… but it will be a lot easier to get over those humps when you are doing something that you feel deeply about, that you are passionate about and something that makes you feel GOOD. You will find your following and people will respond to the ‘real’ you.
There is also something to be said for finding your own ‘niche’. That is something that I don’t feel like I’ve found yet with the sailing and cruising thing. Of course I’m still really new yet, so I don’t really feel like I’ve found my niche in the sailing LIFE, either! Its all a work in progress!
ONE MORE NOTE ON QUALITY: Make sure your site is Mobile Friendly!!! SO many people browse the web solely on their phones that if your site is hard to read on mobile, they won’t be back. Don’t think that people are going to take the time to try and enlarge text, scroll back and forth and find links/read things when it is that frustrating. There are pretty much always places that they can go and find similar information that will be easy on the eyes and easy to use.
Mobile Friendly Version^
Web Browser Version ^
PATIENCE. This kind of thing normally doesn’t happen overnight. Be patient and keep plugging away.